So a while back I stumbled upon this $5 bucket stool DIY and thought I'd give it a go. We had some branches lying around our property that were being used for firewood so I decided to save some and give them a new life. I went down to our local hardware store here in Australia (Bunnings) and stumbled upon some concrete pavers which I thought would be even easier then having to mix my own concrete.
I sanded my branches, painted them and then nailed them to a circular thin piece of wood, which I then adhered under the concrete paver using all fix :) I put some heavy books on top of the stool and let the whole thing cure for two weeks. I have since stood on the stool but to be honest I always feel a little unsafe doing so (is it just me or do others find it hard to trust things they made themselves?) :p
I was on a bit of a stool high so decided to do the $5 bucket challenge and went down and bought myself a $10 bag of cement and a plastic tub. By the way $5 is a bit of a stretch for the project - perhaps if you bought your cement/paint in bulk and made lots of stools you could land somewhere close to that cost.
Anyway, onto my experiences, firstly mixing concerted was harder than I thought, I had no idea about consistency and even though I tried to follow the instructions on the bag + what I could find on the internet I think my mix was a little too dry - weeks later the bottom was still crumbly. Next, I only used half the cement when in hindsight I should of mixed it all up because it was not deep enough. When I put the branch legs into the wet cement I was worried they would show at the top of the stool so thus I didn't push them in too far. In the end knowing they weren't embedded very well into the cement and in a super hodgepodge way I built a cement mound underneath to support the legs. (Not super attractive!).
Also they say to mix the cement in the bucket with one of your stools legs. I didn't want to get cement over my stool leg so I used a garden spade. I didn't realise at the time but this scratched the bottom of my plastic tub and thus the final stool has scrap mark indents on top (just something to be aware of). Also getting the legs level was a nightmare!!!
The $5 bucket peeps realised an update to their tutorial, they mention wrapping wire around the legs to secure them, which I did, they also have a recommendation of putting adhesive into the leg holes if your legs get wobbly and come out. All three of my legs, a month later, are wobbly but since I wrapped them with wire before setting into the concrete I can't pull them out individually and glue them in - so another thing to keep in mind.
Overall, I'm not sure which one was more of a success. I think if I had of mixed the concrete better plus used more mix in a narrower bucket and not wire wrapped the legs, the second stool would be more pick. As it stands (pun intended) I think my original one looks a little better (or neater) aesthetically but then I don't know if the top paver looks ugly or not :p They were fun to do, I learnt a lot (mostly that I can't mix concrete) and perhaps in the future or if I'm near someone else mixing concrete who wants to spare me some I'll try for a third time lucky!